Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Posted April 5, 2015
I am going to start off by saying that the absolute, only thing I would change about my situation is the fact that I live in an apartment. I had not looked up information on this breed when I bought Petey, and simply trusted what the woman told me, because I instantly fell in love the moment I saw him (I was told he would only grow to be 40lbs, but the truth is, it is close to the 65-80lb range depending on how deep the mix is).
Safety is by far my biggest concern, because I have a 2 year-old son, and Petey is phenomenal with him. Gauge can be all over him and playing rough and I never have to worry about Petey turning. He is extremely protective to the point where he will wake me up and sit outside his door in the morning if he hears my son before I do. His training process was very quick. He responded well to the reward system, however, if you are not willing to be strong and hard with him, this is not the dog for you. This breed needs to know who is boss, so if you have lax training methods, I would strongly reconsider. He felt like he had control for about a half a second and I quickly saw that was not an option. As funny as it sounds, time-outs work. If he begged for food or went potty inside, I locked him in the kitchen for a set time (I have a baby gate up), and every time he went potty outside or didn't beg through a meal, he got a treat. He was trained within two weeks and I was blown away how quickly he picked up tricks and commands. They are very intelligent.
He is extremely high energy and I feel guilty about him being in an apartment, but I am buying a house next year, so if you are in an apartment, I would say to wait. We make weekly park trips and multiple long walks every day and it still doesn't even touch his energy level.
He is extremely loving and likes to cuddle and be involved in everything you are doing. He is a strong, protective companion and I feel safe being home alone with him with me as a single mother.
As far as grooming they are next to no work, only clipping nails, but they do require a lot of attention and activity.